Google Voice Search Chrome Extension Launches, Named “Ok Google”

by Dale Wright

Ok Google Voice search

Google has released a new extension for people to search just by their voice, named ‘Ok Google’.

The new Chrome extension allows users to make Google completely hands free by ordering any search simply by saying the words, “Ok Google”, and then whatever they’re looking for.  The new always-on voice search option brings a personal assistant feature similar to Siri to laptops and desktops.  Obviously it’s only available to Chrome users at the moment, but Google could release the feature as an add-on for the Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari browsers.

The Ok Google feature is already available on certain smartphones such as the Nexus 5, and the Google Glass has a similar command: ‘Ok glass.’  The Google search engine has had voice search for quite a while now, but it required users to click the microphone button at the side of the search bar.  It’s not really taken off, but maybe this new always-on, hands-free voice search option will appeal more to users.

Google Releases Ok Google Chrome extension

Ok Google is just a Chrome extension at this point, but it’s likely that Google will roll it out to the search engine in general.  Several tech bloggers have noted that Ok Google code is already built into Google.com’s website, but the site may need to add some extra settings for people to allow it to access their microphones.

It doesn’t just perform searches; it can also do simple tasks like setting a timer.  It’s probably quite a way off having the functionality of Siri, but Ok Google is reportedly more intelligent than Apple’s personal assistant.  When you use Ok Google on Android, its technology means it understands speech and context better than Siri, and learns more quickly what a specific user wants.  However, as both Apple and Google improve their personal assistant algorithms, it seems that more and more of our lives could be run by technology.